Practices & Rhythms

Practices

How we pursue reconciliation and renewal in our own lives and in the world may look different for each of us.  We invite you to consider if any of these opportunities might be a gift to you.  Not all of them will resonate with you (and even if they did, it likely wouldn’t be healthy to do all of them!). What opportunities is God leading you toward?

Learning Communities

A variety of topics will be explored in these communities in the fall and spring. Groups will meet for 6 weeks with the purpose of giving people the knowledge and resources they need to grow in their relationship with God, each other and the world. This will also be a place to connect in relationship with others (October 15-November 19, spring dates TBA).

Missional Communities

These families on mission will put knowledge and resources into action, intentionally discerning ways to be involved in God’s renewing work. The work and rhythms of each MC may look different — a fact we celebrate.

Cultural Agility Learning Community

A group from the Branch will be joining with other area churches for a 9-month process of growth and discernment around how to be culturally agile. The end result: determine the next steps God is asking us to take around racial reconciliation (October ’17-May ’18).

BranchKids and BranchStudents

We will continue to invest in the next generation, creating spaces for them to hear about God’s love, explore how faith intersects life, and build relationships with their peers.

Spiritual Practices

Every Wednesday morning from 8:00-8:45am join a group at the Garfield Park Nature Reserve (Jefferson Ave. between Alger and Burton Ave.) to practice routines and disciplines that can deepen our relationship with God and our understanding of ourselves. Can’t make this time? Let us know and we’ll pass along the resources we’re using so that you can practice at home.

Huddles

These groups of 4-8 people commit to a 12-18 month discipleship process. In community, and with a high level of accountability, people engage key theological ideas, learning to listen to what God is saying to them and what God is asking them to do.

Partnerships

We will be taking steps to deepen our relationship with Communidad Cristiana de Grand Rapids, the Nepali Speaking Community through the sharing of resources as well as worshipping together. Our first step will be to have all three churches worship together on October 15.

Retreat

We’ll be offering a retreat this spring centered on personal discipleship and growth. More details to come.

Rhythms

Every person, family, organization and church have certain rhythms that give form and purpose to their life. Soccer is every Tuesday at 7. A weekly staff meeting is every Monday at 10. Worship is Sunday at 9:30. The right rhythms are important for shaping us into the people we are called to be.

Participating in worship

We will commit to participating in our weekly gathering, contributing our gifts, stories and presence.

  • People of every race, age, gender, and sexual identity are invited to contribute to and shape our offering.
  • We draw from the broad range of Christian practices in order to engage our body, mind and soul and connect us with God and our neighbor.

Training our souls

We will commit to regularly practicing soul-training-exercises (often called spiritual disciplines) so that we might be shaped into Christ’s likeness.

  • Trying really hard to change isn’t enough.  Effort alone falls short. We must train ourselves in a new way.
  • What exercises we choose depend on who we are, where we are in life, and what would be most helpful. There’s no one-size-fits all.
  • And so we take ownership of our growth, intentionally seeking and searching for what will be most formative for us.

Investing in relationship

We will commit to walking with each other.

  • In community we discover things about who we are and who God is that we would not find out alone.
  • We know that relationships take intentionality and time; therefore, we will ask God to show us which relationships we are to invest in and then take the steps needed to regularly meet with those people.

Pursuing reconciliation

We will commit to pursuing justice in concrete ways as we are led by the Spirit.

  • We are not asked to fix the world by ourselves, but to join in the work that God is already doing among us.
  • Where and how and when we do that may look different for each person.
  • But as we participate in worship, practice soul-training-exercises and live in community, we believe that the where and how and when will become more clear.